Archive for August, 2007

Illustration Friday: Visitor(s)

Tuesday, 28 August 07

Visitor(s)

“Visitor(s)” for Illustration Friday

 

I think more will follow once the first one gets in…

Mild Indigestion

Tuesday, 28 August 07

When I turn off the lights and I close my eyes, I get fervent and feral dreams filled with scenes from different times, places, genres. I burp images from movies I’ve greedily consumed in a span of 6 days — “A Fish Called Wanda,” “The Velvet Goldmine,” “American History X,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Goonies,” “Spirited Away,” “The Lost Boys,” and “The Children of Men” — they’re mixed and mismatched and I struggle to wade through one after the other, fearful that I’d get swallowed slowly in the quagmire of pain, loss, and despair. I’ve been tossed in a wine cellar with Dr. William Gull, Rorschach, and the Cthulhu (the Cthulhu!! Who slurps more than his fair share of the alcohol), characters from the comics and audio books I’ve munched on way after midnight. I regurgitate words and snatches of conversations whispered in shadows; they are from the mouthfuls I’ve crammed in the past week or so — from short stories by Gaiman, Bradbury, and King, and novels by James, Salinger, Stoker, and Burgess.

Yes, I’ve been bingeing. I’ve been chomping on my favorite fares late at night and I’ve been digesting them whilst I sleep. My power pellets are meant to keep me sane, to keep me from tipping over, but I think I may have given in to gluttony. I dined and wined with the demons of my choosing. Now it’s their turn to consume me.

My whole being is grumbling. I need an antacid, quick.

(A side dish to the main course: I am glad I read PD James’s book first before I saw Cuáron’s visceral masterpiece. I swore no allegiance neither to the author nor the book, so I feel no remorse when I say that the film was an improvement on the novel. James’s premise was good—a disguised sci-fi-what-if tale about the human race not so far into the future; maligned with inexplicable universal sterility, individuals and the society are left to grapple with their species’ impeding mortality in a grim, violent, and hopeless world—but it was Cuáron who showed the shadows, the ugliness, and the despair of the children of Men.)

Help an artist in need

Sunday, 26 August 07

Chains by Alice McMahon White

No, I haven’t started another crazy fund raising project for myself. This time around I’m asking for help on behalf of one of my fellow artists on Talentdatabase, Alice McMahon White. She’s one of the 12 finalists of the knock-out phase of Saatchi Gallery’s Showdown. The two artworks with the highest vote will enter a final head-to-head to decide the overall SHOWDOWN winner. Why the big fuss? The grand prize winner will have a show at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London this Autumn. Yes, the Saatchi Gallery.

Alice’s entry is called “Chains.” It’s part of her “White Album” series, composed of pastels and drawings inspired by Beatles tunes. She describes it as “literally a labor of love, twenty years in the making. A quirky “photo-realism” album of my three teenagers, it is foremost a portrait of adolescence… I was on the threshold of my own teen years when the Beatles were the soundtrack for the hippy era. This work draws parallels between then and now, and highlights the universal, eternal character of coming of age.”

Alice is largely a self-taught artist. I am awed by her natural talent… she is a master of photo-realism painting. I see her work and I am inspired to improve my craft. She makes me believe that I could be a great artist too whether or not I get that $%^&# FA degree or not.

So let’s show her some luv. This is a bit last minute, but I am not one to give up. :) Don’t worry, you don’t need to sign up to vote. Two clicks and you’re done. Just go to the Saatchi Gallery, look for “Chains” (Round 2 showdown winner), give it a rating of 10 stars, and then spread the word and encourage your friends to do the same thing. :)

Voting ends at 23:59 today, Sunday, 26 August 2007 (London time), so that’s at 07:59 Monday morning in Manila, 19:59, Sunday, in New York and 16:59, Sunday, in San Francisco. Go to The World Clock Time converter to check the time in your area.

The clock is ticking, my friends, so let’s start clicking! :)

The Face of Evil

Wednesday, 22 August 07

Have you ever seen a politician in action up close? I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with one last weekend and the encounter left me feeling tainted and unnerved. I wanted to take off my skin after and throw it in the laundry for a long and thorough spin. I find these people dangerous, as if a brief meeting with them could poison you in ways you could not even imagine. I’m afraid of osmosis.

There were two of them, actually. I am still not sure which one was more vile and repulsive. It’s like choosing over Azazel and Beelzebub—bumbling, idiotic demi-demons from hell with power to lord over unfortunate beings. I’d rather not deal with them at all. They’re crude, yes, but still dangerous and ruthless. The people around me treated them with respect, out of fear, out of self-preservation. They turned me into the sacrificial lamb, mounted and strapped on a cold stone slab to appease their avaricious deity.

I don’t know if I am more disgusted by the fact that I went there willingly, unaware of what was truly happening behind the scene, or that the people who were supposed to have my back betrayed me so easily. I went there with a brave face, confident that I was prepared to do battle (and I did), certain that the information I had was sufficient ammunition to hold off the attack and keep the evil at bay. And then I was blindsided.

I also cannot decide whom to hate or pity more—the greedy bastards who were openly violating our rights or the people I trusted who folded and bowed without a fight and even celebrated with shameless delight to have earned the approval of their new lords. The demonoids were not even charming or cunning and lacked intelligence, finesse, and sophistication. How could they have let themselves be duped by these malevolent creatures? How could they entrust their souls to them?

One of the traitors tried to do a Pontius Pilate and disinfect his hands in public. He wanted me to feel good about the decision of the group and, with forlorn eyes, asked me how he could make things better. I had about 20 knives stuck in my back—I don’t think anything could make me feel comfortable about that. Another dolt said that I had no choice and we lived in a democratic world. Majority ruled, yes, but democracy was not in the room.

I don’t claim to be better than my neighbors. I understand their necessity to placate the demonoids, but I’ve lost faith and I feel that some part of me was shaken, not completely extinguished, but badly battered. I can’t help but wonder about the world. Humans remain the same, afflicted with cowardice and greed, despite our “evolution” and living in a post modern age hot wired to sophisticated technology and populated by “civilized” institutions. Heh. We are still barbarians even if we’re garbed in Chanel and drive around in our BMWs.

I am not young and innocent as I used to be, but I keep certain ideals, my principles, and my beliefs close to my heart. I will hold on as long as I can. Alone or not at least at the end of the day I still have those things to comfort me at night.

Decisions, decisions

Saturday, 18 August 07

I’ve been buried with work the past couple of days and — as if that was not enough — from out of the blue personal stuff started cropping up, clamoring for equal attention. How annoying. I cannot be in two places at once and I do not have enough power pellets to help me string words together to form a decent sentence let alone read stupid, effing, *&$^#* documents. Why does it always have to be me? Why can’t people lighten up and just be nice? Long story.

ANYWAY, I had to take a break at some point. I need fluff in my life, too! So I surfed the net and saw this article: Why you shouldn’t let feelings play into touch decisions. Interesting (I could use some advice about that right now), but what was more interesting was this. It’s a software to help you make rational decisions with a simple click of a button (for Mac users only). It’s apparently based on the Decision Theory.

Okay, what will they think of next?

Tropical Dog

Friday, 10 August 07

Ex-Mayor Burgoo

It’s been raining really hard and this little tropical mongrel ain’t happy about it. He may have arthritis, you see, so he starts to limp when the mercury starts take a to dip. He seems contented to wear his favorite shirt, though, when things get a little cold. Maybe he secretly wants to be like this guy:

Atienza

Birthday loot

Monday, 6 August 07

It’s been a while since I’ve actually enjoyed celebrating the anniversary of my existence on this plane of ours. It comes with age, they say. I’ve had so many already that I didn’t expect this one to be any different from the previous years’ festivities (or absence of revelry). Boy, was I wrong; I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday weekend! I am once again reminded that I do like surprises—the simple, heartfelt ones and not the hollywood-inspired, cutre/baduy/tacky showcases—and even though I see myself at times as a natural grinch and an indubitable hermit, it’s nice to be with others and, as people would say, feel the luv.

And feel the luv, I did. I didn’t turn into Harry Potter, mind you, but I was enveloped by the warmth of friendship and family throughout the weekend. JEEEEZ. I never thought I’ll ever hear myself say that much less blog about it. Cheesiness must really come with age. Heh. There were no fireworks or rowdy parties—I had a blast without a drop of alcohol or a milligram of nicotine in my system—just a series of long, genuine conversations, overall silliness, gabfests, sweet emails, unexpected phone calls and text messages, and loads of chocolate and cakes (the frozen Brazo de Mercedes was divine!). They made this year extra special and gave me one of the best birthday loots I’ve ever amassed in a long while.

Here’s to past, present, far away, and absent friends. Muchas gracias.

By the way…

Thursday, 2 August 07

I found this, too: Ordinary Darth. Whoever this °Teban° guy is, he’s funny. I suppose his name is Esteban, noh?

The Dreaded Epilogue

Thursday, 2 August 07

I can’t help it. After staying away from MuggleNet for some time, I finally went back there for a visit and saw an article about Alfonso Cuarón. If he ends up making the last film…! I found some other stuff–JK interviews, etc, etc–and will read/watch them all later. Being curious is really exhausting! hehehehe.

I must confess that I still haven’t read the book again and have no plans of doing it soon. I’ll probably lend it to my brother first and then read it when all the hoopla has totally died down. I am tempted to read Azkaban, though. I re-read it right after I finished Deathly Hollows and then read the Spanish translation. I just wanted to go back to that time—it’s still the tightest and smoothest of all of her books. I wish I could read the first again, though. I cannot seem to find my copy. I have the dust cover, but the book has been missing for a while. Hmmm… Let me just go and find it.